Check out Aly Sivji’s LinkedIn profile and you’ll come upon a surprising listing: “international jetsetter.” Travel is one of Sivji’s passions, along with math, data, problem solving and software development. Sivji graduated from the University of Waterloo in his native Canada with a degree in computational mathematics. He then worked as an analyst in various financial industries — including a stint as a trader at Barclays Capital in London — and also spent time traveling around the world. But it wasn’t until he enrolled in the Northwestern University School of Professional Studies’s Master of Science in Medical Informatics (MMI) online program that his interests and skills came together.
“My whole life I had planned to work as a trader and even though I loved it, I didn’t feel fulfilled,” Sivji says. “I was traveling, working and trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I discovered health informatics — I knew it was the right field for me.”
Sivji decided to move from finance to healthcare, where he felt that he could make a bigger impact. The change wasn’t entirely out of left field — Sivji’s mother is a physician, and he grew up hearing about the challenges in healthcare. He enrolled in the MMI graduate program and also accepted a position as a senior analyst at Truven Health Analytics. Now, the former trader studies alongside physicians and other professionals in the online program.
“The experience has been an eye opener,” he says. “I learn so much about the day-to-day challenges of healthcare from my peers and faculty. The program has helped me confirm that I want to work in an industry where I can be part of the solution by using my skills to make data come alive.”